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Neighbors on Call’s NC Policy Update for 10/12

Voting Rights

  • Although election officials had been concerned that the COVID-19 pandemic would discourage people from volunteering, it appears that North Carolina will now have enough poll workers. State Board of Elections Executive Director Karen Brinson Bell said Thursday that she calculated the state would need 25,000 poll workers; just under 47,000 have signed up through an online portal.

  • After a week of turmoil, the NC State Board of Elections is again fully staffed. Two Republican members recently resigned under pressure from their own party after backing a State Board legal settlement with rule changes making it easier to cast absentee ballots. Governor Cooper had approved two new Republican appointees nominated by the state GOP but was quickly forced to rescind one appointment after allegations of abuse by a former girlfriend of that appointee were made public. On Thursday, Cooper appointed a replacement and the NC State Board of Elections swore in both new members.

Economic and Housing Policy

  • The state has planned two additional programs to provide NC citizens with Covid-19 relief funds. The first program, approved in September, pays parents who have at least one child aged sixteen or younger a flat payment of $335. In certain cases, paperwork needs to be filed by October 15th to secure payment on December 15th. The second program, a $175 million rental assistance program announced in August, is expected to be ready soon. Roughly two thirds of the funds are earmarked to help residents avoid eviction by offering direct rent and utility assistance, while the remaining third is targeted to assist the homeless in securing affordable housing.

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